Examine doubts about the power of prayer
by Billy Graham
August 01, 2014 10:37 PM | 912 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: What good does it do to pray for someone who’s facing a serious health crisis? They’ll either get better or they won’t, depending on how they respond to their medications or surgery. Just because we pray for someone doesn’t mean they’ll get better, in my opinion. — E.W.

A: As I read your letter, I couldn’t help but wonder if you’ve ever faced a serious health crisis, either in your own life or in the life of someone you love. When people do, I find, they almost always turn to prayer — even if they haven’t had much to do with God.

Why is this? One reason, I believe, is because we all know that even with the best medical care, things can go wrong, and healing is not assured. In addition, some situations are so serious that there seems to be little or no hope of recovery. We also know that our bodies and our minds are very closely connected, and if a person is very discouraged or doesn’t want to live, their recovery is doubtful. Why shouldn’t we pray for them?

Your question, however, suggests to me that the real reason for your letter is that you simply don’t believe God answers prayer, or that He cares for us. You may not even believe He exists, or at least you’re uncertain about it.

Whatever your reasons, I challenge you to examine your doubts in the light of Jesus Christ. He was God in human form, and He came into the world to bridge the gap between us and God. Don’t let doubt keep you in its grip any longer, but open your heart and mind to the truth found in Jesus Christ. He alone could say, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Q: I know this isn’t unusual, but my husband doesn’t have any interest in church. He doesn’t mind if the children and I go, but he refuses to come with us. How can I explain this to them, without sounding like I’m tearing down their father? — Mrs. D.H.

A: You mention elsewhere that your children are still young, so I suggest you not raise this with them until they bring it up (as they will eventually). By then, they may realize that some of their friends face the same situation, and this could help them accept it.

If they do raise the issue, you probably don’t need to go into great detail, but simply explain that at present their father doesn’t wish to participate in the activities of your church. More likely, however, they’ll ask him instead of you (or at least in addition to you), and I hope you can encourage him in advance not to discourage them from going to church. If your children have become involved in the church’s youth group, choir, or other activity, they’ll be less likely to follow his example.

If they are active in some way, from time to time they may be participating in some special program — a concert, Christmas program, ball game, etc. This would give you (and them) a reason to invite him to the church, and might help break down his resistance.

The real question, however, is this: Why is he opposed to attending church? Is it because he doesn’t want anything to do with God? Whatever his reasons (or excuses), pray for him, that God will open his heart and mind to Christ. Pray for yourself, as well, that both your husband and your children will see Christ in you. The Bible says, “In everything set them an example” (Titus 2:7).

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.

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